Published: Jul 13, 2011 3:59 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 13, 2011 2:00 AM EDT

The increase happened between 1997 and 2009.. during that time 34 babies in southwest Florida died of suffocation while sleeping with their parents.

"It could be lack of space, maybe they don't have the funds to purchase a crib. There are numerous reasons why people do it," said Children's Network Director Aimee McLaughlin.

To reduce that number, the Children's Hospital has donated $3,000 to the Children's Network to buy cribs.

"Our endowment was really looked to to prevent child abuse and neglect. We feel like they're good partners and they're doing that as well," said Michele King of the Children's Hospital.

That money bought more than sixty portable baby beds to be donated.

"That's a significant number of families that we're hopefully preventing from having a terrible tragedy occur as a result of co-sleeping," King continued.

The cribs will go specifically to families who have been investigated for abuse or neglect.

"Those cribs will be given to families that need them that have had an abuse hotline call and have been identified as not having a place for their children to sleep," McLaughlin said.

The child abuse death review committee reports that 74% of sleeping related suffocation deaths in 2010 were a direct result of co-sleeping.

"This is a very easily preventable death. educating people on the dangers. providing them with a safe sleeping environment and helping that family learn a better way is all that it would take to prevent that child from dying," said McLaughlin.

Along with the crib delivery, the Children's Network gives the family information on how to set it up, what type of bedding to use, and bed positioning to make sure the baby sleeps safely.